Cast, Dates Set for Zimmerman's Argonautika at Lookingglass Theatre

News   Cast, Dates Set for Zimmerman's Argonautika at Lookingglass Theatre Director Mary Zimmerman has selected the cast for her upcoming production of her own Argonautika, set to play Chicago's well-regarded Lookingglass Theatre Oct. 18-Dec. 23.
Atley Loughridge plays a young Medea in Lookingglass' Argonautika
Atley Loughridge plays a young Medea in Lookingglass' Argonautika Photo by Peter Coombs

Zimmerman, the auteur with a national reputation and a Tony Award (for Metamorphoses), got her start with Lookingglass and is, along with actor David Schwimmer, its most famous alumna.

She will direct Argonautika, a new adaptation which tells "the mythic Greek tale of Jason's great sea voyage on the Argo and his exotic adventures in quest of the Golden Fleece." The theatre will be transformed into a ship for the show, with the audience "on deck."

Argonautika is adapted from the original works of Apollonius of Rhodes and Gaius Valerius Flaccus, via translations by Peter Green and David R. Slavitt.

The cast features Ryan Artzburger, Victoria Caciopoli, David Catlin, Lawrence DiStasi, Glen Fleshler, Allen Gilmore, Tony Hernandez, Dan Kenney, Atley Loughridge, Marianne Mayberry, Lisa Tejero, Jesse Perez, Jarrett Sleeper and Angela Walsh.

Zimmerman's design team includes frequent collaborators Dan Ostling (set), John Culbert (lights), and Andre Pluess (sound), along with Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Michael Montenegro (puppets) and Rachel Jamieson (props). Glen Berger's The Wooden Breeks, which recently opened Off-Broadway at MCC, will inhabit the second slot in the Lookingglass' 2006-07 line-up. The fantabulously wordy quilt of yarns, set in a small Scottish village, will play in February 2007. Heidi Stillman will direct.

Next will come a second world premiere, Black Diamond, the first play by J. Nicole Brooks, an actress and an artistic associate of the company. The play "delves into the connection between the politics of the West African nation of Liberia and the United States through the figure of Black Diamond 22, a hip-hop girl who also happens to be a rebel leader and carries an AK-47." It will open in April 2007.

The season will conclude in July 2007 with Lookingglass Alice, a return of David Catlin's acrobatics-infused adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Lookingglass."

All shows will be presented at the Lookingglass' home at 821 N. Michigan in downtown Chicago.